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Doctors warn about heat-related illnesses as temperatures rise across South Ga.

Hot weather is expected over the weekend.
Hot weather is expected over the weekend.(WALB)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 7:12 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - In South Georgia, we’re very experienced when it comes to dealing with high heat.

We may not all be experts, however, on the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, or what’s the difference.

“Well, definitely you want to stay hydrated. Water is really good but if you’re sweating a whole lot, Gatorade, Pedialyte, anything like that with a lot of electrolytes,” said Dr. Xenophon Mucciarone, ER physician at South Georgia Medical Center.

If fun under the sun is in your plans for the next few days and as the temperature heats up, it’s important to know the dangers and learn the signs.

If you’re feeling dizzy, sweating excessively, feel nauseous, or have muscle cramps, you might be experiencing heat exhaustion.

Dr. Xenophon Mucciarone said finding a shaded area, somewhere cool near a fan and hydrating are...
Dr. Xenophon Mucciarone said finding a shaded area, somewhere cool near a fan and hydrating are just some ways to avoid heat-related illnesses.(WALB)

Mucciarone said to find a shaded area, somewhere cool near a fan and hydrate.

If symptoms don’t get better, seek medical care.

“Some of the reasons you absolutely would want to come here to the emergency department, if you pass out. I would definitely recommend you come in here. Don’t naturally just think it’s heat exhaustion or anything like that. Especially, if you’re having chest pains,” said Mucciarone.

Signs of a heat stroke include throbbing headache, no sweating, body temperature above 103 degrees, nausea or vomiting, rapid pulse and loss of consciousness.

Lowndes County encourages people to keep their pets safe during hot weather.
Lowndes County encourages people to keep their pets safe during hot weather.(WALB)

If you’re feeling the heat, your pets will too.

“What we do encourage is that you bring your pets inside and if you can’t, we encourage you to have proper shade and clean water for them. Because it can affect them and with extreme heat, pets can die within an hour if left outside,” said Meghan Barwick, Lowndes County spokesperson.

You’re urged to call animal control at (229) 671-2760 if you notice a pet not properly cared for.

Barwick said those who fail to do so may result in citations, not only in magistrate court but state and superior court.

And of course, stay vigilant and make sure no child or pet is left inside a hot car.

If you see something suspicious, call 911 immediately.

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